DENVER - Ty Sambrailo slumped in the chair in front of his locker, but didn’t duck, didn’t snarl at the interrogator.
“You ever have a bad day of work, Mike?’’ Sambrailo said.
Yes, I’ve had my share.
“It was a tough day,’’ Sambrailo said. “I wasn’t taking the proper steps and angles. Everything was just off.’’
Sambrailo was starting his third consecutive game at right tackle in relief of Donald Stephenson, who has been out with a strained left calf. Stephenson returned to practice on a limited basis last week and there is hope he will return to start Thursday night at San Diego.
It hasn’t been easy for Sambrailo, for reasons of injury and inactivity. A second-round draft pick in 2015 out of Colorado State, Sambrailo started the Broncos’ first three games at left tackle his rookie season, then suffered a ripped-up shoulder.
Surgery forced him to miss most of the offseason as the Broncos moved him to right guard. Then he suffered a hyperextended right elbow that forced him to miss training camp, the preseason and the first two games of the regular season.
When he returned, he was moved to right tackle. All the while, the left shoulder and right elbow injuries have made it virtually impossible for Sambrailo to lift weights, much less play tackle against NFL edge rushers.
“It would have been nice to have played camp and preseason and all that but there’s no excuses,’’ Sambrailo said. “That’s my job and I didn’t do it very well today.’’
Atlanta’s Vic Beasley Jr. was credited with 3.5 of the Falcons’ six sacks on Broncos’ quarterback Paxton Lynch, a rookie who sometimes held on to the ball too long.
“I watched (Sambrailo) on film but I was really expecting 71 (Stephenson) to play,’’ Beasley said. “It was a decision that was like, ‘Let’s go,’ -- 74 (Sambrailo) was playing and I set him up from the start of the game. I just kept going and working off what I set him up off of.’’
Sambrailo’s work day ended with a benching in the fourth quarter. Broncos coach Gary Kubiak inserted Darrion Weems, who played right guard while Michael Schofield kicked out to right tackle.
Atlanta got two more sacks after Sambrailo left so it wasn’t all on him.
“One good thing about football is there’s always another game,’’ Sambrailo said. “Just got to learn and move on.’’
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